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Windows 7: Stop Application Data folder replicating?

25 Nov 2011   #41
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RobinHood View Post
Just finished compiling a Utility called "JunkTidy" for folks who gets anoyed with the "virtual"-folders or "Junctions/Links" as some people call it. Please note it HAS been tested numeroustimes by myself on different Win7 PC's, but it might still be buggy...
USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!
...enjoy
Ah, so this only works if someone has changed the permissions and created a mess to begin with. Mine was clean, so I just received the "No junctions found" dialog. Good to know.


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25 Nov 2011   #42
RobinHood

windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by writhziden View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RobinHood View Post
Just finished compiling a Utility called "JunkTidy" for folks who gets anoyed with the "virtual"-folders or "Junctions/Links" as some people call it. Please note it HAS been tested numeroustimes by myself on different Win7 PC's, but it might still be buggy...
USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!
...enjoy
Ah, so this only works if someone has changed the permissions and created a mess to begin with. Mine was clean, so I just received the "No junctions found" dialog. Good to know.
...actualy found a small bug...uploading a new one...gimme 10 min
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25 Nov 2011   #43
RobinHood

windows 7
 
 

Bug fixed...you will DEF see a decrease in performance as the file first needs to get "Owner Rights", and only THEN can it "seek" for the "tunnel"....
Once youre finished, go to your ""Local Settings""-folder and make SYSTEM the new Owner. This utility makes the "User" the current owner of that directory...will still add that feature in forthcomming versions...so for the time being, please do it "manually"
PS: USE AT OWN RISK!!! ( still need some feedback from Beta-Testers before I can confirm "Stability"

PS: The "Backup-Folder" will be in your Home-Drive called "Junk". This program will NEVER delete it...unless YOU want to do it manually ( i did this for security )
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25 Nov 2011   #44
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Testing... It's nice knowing one has a backup image of the whole system saved in case beta testing of any software has unforeseen consequences.
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25 Nov 2011   #45
RobinHood

windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by writhziden View Post
Testing... It's nice knowing one has a backup image of the whole system saved in case beta testing of any software has unforeseen consequences.
...yep...Luckely (unlike some other utilities), JunkTidy creates a backup WITHOUT compressing it, meaning IF you strike a boo-boo, you can always just "copy" the contents of the whole folder (Junk), to the ---> C:\Documents and Settings\<USER>\Local Settings\Application Data folder.....
JUST A REMINDER...ALWAYS DO A BACKUP FIRST...then proceed to the "cleaning" section
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25 Nov 2011   #46
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Glad I don't care too much about my junctions; they are managed just fine by Windows as long as the user does not do anything weird to them. Your utility takes well over an hour to backup and clean. Can't imagine having to run this for multiple users.
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25 Nov 2011   #47
RobinHood

windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by writhziden View Post
Glad I don't care too much about my junctions; they are managed just fine by Windows as long as the user does not do anything weird to them. Your utility takes well over an hour to backup and clean. Can't imagine having to run this for multiple users.
lol....it al depends what crap the guy has on it...as for each file, it first have to do a "permission-setting"...and only THEN can it do the "copy/delting"-stuff. At least you know whatever the program is doing, is correct. My niece works at a company called "Matrix", and they have encountered a lot of probs with these kind of issues. Virusses usually grants itself "acces" to these folders/junctions...and then "replicates" itself all across th board. He told me once they had to delete over 60 GIG of data, that was in these so caled "virtual"-folders...thereby freeing up 60GIG of data. If the Tech is happy after the Backup and DELETING of the extentions, they can just delete the JUNK-folder...whalla...60GIG more space
PS: you dont need to do a backup the 2nd time if everything works 100% after a couple of times, as everything is in actual fact STILL in their correct locations...a backup once in a blue moon is suffice...
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25 Nov 2011   #48
RobinHood

windows 7
 
 

PS: I will post "close-to-final" JunkTidy tomorrow that wil be much faster and (hopefully) complete
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #49
whocares

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by writhziden View Post
[Snip]

Edit: I am actually leaning toward RobinHood's discovery after reading whocares's post Stop Application Data folder replicating? #3 about junctions. I believe that once that folder is given permissions and other programs access it incorrectly as a folder rather than a junction, it creates a long line of folders that can have individual data stored in them, thus taking up space. Though this is not the intention of Application Data, it is what happens once that folder permissions are altered.

[Snip]
What @logicearth has written is usually correct, and what @RobinHood has written is usually wrong. If I gave the impression that the reflected folders could store individual files, I apologize.

I initially did not go into much detail. The Junctions created by Windows should be approached with caution. Microsoft got this right. They attempted to cleanup the mess that they created over the years. Junctions were the solution, but it also created problems. The problems are due to combining the various directory structures of different versions of Windows. A special user as the owner and a combination of security/permissions was the solution. Overriding this setup causes problems.

Different versions of Windows treat Junctions and file operations differently. If you follow the wrong advice, you may be very unhappy. Using a disk image to backup and restore the partition is the safest method. If your backup and restore application does not understand Junctions and Windows version differences, you may be very unhappy.

Junctions are pointers to other folders. Junctions DO NOT contain files or folders. Junctions do not need to be named the same as the destination folder. Multiple Junctions can point to the same folder, but a Junction can only point to one folder. File operations copy, paste, delete, rename, etc. do not work the same as folders. The following is about Windows 7.

C:\Junction1 <=> D:\Target1

Delete Junction1 will only delete the Junction.
Rename Junction1 will only rename the Junction.
Copy Junction1 will copy the contents of Target1 (including subdirs and files).
Paste Junction1 will paste the contents of the Target1 (including subdirs and files).

Any file operations within Junction1 are actually occurring in Target1. Creating a folder in Junction1 will actually create a folder in Target1. Windows will display Target1's folders and files as its own, but it is an illusion. Only Junction1 is in the C partition's MFT. NOT ONE additional byte or bit of data is stored. One could make the case that when Windows Explorer displays Junction1 it takes RAM, but RAM is NOT storage.

If an application or folder or programmer (even a Computer Scientist) does not understand this, you may be unhappy.

The folder "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local" contains a Junction "Application Data", and this Junction points to "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local".

"%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Application Data" <=> "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local"

Each time the "Application Data" folder is displayed, it will contain the parent folder "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local", and each time the parent folder is displayed, it will contain the child folder "Application Data"

C:\Target1\Junction1\Target1\Junction1\Target1\ ...

There is a limit for Windows, and at some point it will stop displaying subdirs. I am not sure what the limit is, but 200 "Application Data" folders may be the limit. Junction1 does take up space in the MFT for the partition, but the recursive folders and files do not exist. The are simply an illusion. As @logicearth illustrated, it is like two mirrors pointing at each other. The reflected images do not add one ounce of additional weight.

NOTE: Microsoft eliminated this with Owner security/permissions. In this case, Junction1 cannot be displayed or "read", and the recursion never occurs. An application would think that Junction1 was an empty folder: C:\Target1\Junction1\empty. The problem is solved. When the User takes Ownership and changes the security/permissions, the problem is unsolved.

At this point things can go more wrong than most people imagine (even Computer Scientists). Simply copying the Junction will copy all the contents of the Target folder. If the Target folder contains a Junction, all the contents of that Junction will be copied. For "C:\Target1\Junction1\Target1\Junction1\ ...", the contents of Target1 will be copied until the Windows folder limit is reached. If Target1 contains 3Gb and it regresses 200 times, 603Gb of data will be copied. (3Gb x 200 recursions + original 3Gb) When Target1 is pasted, the result will be 603Gb. What was originally 3Gb has now become 603Gb. If the original folder ("C:\Target1") is deleted, Junction1 will also be deleted. If the folder is restored from the backup copy, the result will be 600Gb, and there will be actual files and folders where there were virtual ones.

Junctions do not copy like regular files, and they are not created like regular files. In this case, the folders could contain different individual files, and since the former Junction is now an actual directory with actual files, the fun really begins. In the Microsoft version, everything was contained in Target1, but applications would not break using Junction1. To the extent that the data will only be accessed by one application in one location, things should work, but if not, you may be unhappy. Upgrading to a new version of a software application may not work correctly. If the new version uses the new AppData folder, it may expect the old data to be present in that folder because the old location was really a Junction. The old data is no longer "in" a Junction. It is in an actual "Application Data" folder, and it is no longer accessible to the application. You may have just created a mess.

To find the Junctions on a partition use the following at a command line:

dir /al /s c:\

Change c:\ to the partition you want to check. You may need to run an elevated command line. You can then check the security/permissions on the Junctions, and you can restore them if needed. You may want to get familiar with the command line (elevated). If you want to play with the big boys, you need to use big boy tools. I'm just sayin'.

I would be very careful when mucking around with the Operating System. I would be very careful when taking advice from an expert (even a Computer Scientist). I would be even more careful before I used a utility he/she developed. I would use what I have written here as a starting point. I only know what I have been able to piece together and what I have tried. Who knows? I may be wrong. On the other hand, I may be right. Proceed at your own risk.

"You buys your ticket. You takes your chances."
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26 Nov 2011   #50
RobinHood

windows 7
 
 

PS: PLEASE NOTE...THIS UTILITY IS STILL IN "BETA" FORM AND NEEDS TO BE TESTED.... ON COMPLETION, IT IS ONLY INTENDED TO BE USED BY ADVANCED-TECHNICIANS TO REMOVE REPLICA OF VIRUSES UNDER --->
"C:\Documents and Settings\<USER>Robin\Local Settings\Application Data"
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 Stop Application Data folder replicating?




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